"Honor Thy Mother and Father." It is one of the ten commandments, but it can be hard. What do we do when our parents have hurt us? What does honoring look like then? Today, a dear woman, who asked to remain anonymous, shares a piece of her story, her struggle and what she is learning from the Lord.
Growing up with my mother was not always easy. She was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I was just a baby. Then, my parents divorced when I was four years old.
The environment in our household was very unpredictable. Sometimes, my mother would laugh, cook for us and talk with us about our days. Unfortunately, usually my mom was angry, depressed, very critical and couldn’t/wouldn’t get out of bed to either work or cook.
Most of the time, I felt like I was the mother. My brother and I took on the roles of being the parents. We did the cooking, cleaning, get ourselves up and ready for school and even get jobs in order to buy the groceries we needed. It was my reality. We did what we had to do.
All I wanted to do was be a kid. I wanted a mom that would tell me she loved me, take care of my needs, and give me the advice and guidance I so desperately needed as I was growing up. Instead, I was taking care of my mom’s needs and making sure that to an outsider, everything appeared okay.
It was exhausting. I would get so angry, and then feel guilty for being angry. How was I supposed to honor a mother that couldn’t/wouldn't get out of bed for weeks at a time? How could I honor a mother that rarely asked me how me how my day was or showed any interest in me at all? How could I honor a mother that criticized every little thing that I did when all I was trying to do was help? How could I honor a mother that I was so angry at?
I struggle with it. I prayed that God would allow me to see my mom through His eyes and view her as He does. Choosing to honor my mother for my spiritual health is not easy.
God revealed to me that my mom did the best that she could. She may not have been the mom that I so desperately wanted her to be, but she was the best mom that she was able to be. By allowing God to help heal these past hurts, I am learning to be more compassionate and accepting of others for who they are.
Honoring my mother does not mean that I will never get angry with her, nor does it mean that what she did was okay. It just means that I will not allow past hurts and anger to dictate my actions/reactions to any situation. I do not have control over other people’s actions, but I will be held accountable for my own.
I have a choice. I can allow hurt and anger to harden my heart towards others, or I can chose forgiveness and take one step closer to being the person that God intends me to be. God has blessed me with three beautiful children. I thank God daily that He has blessed me and that He is helping me to heal so that I can be the kind of mom He so desires for me to be. Praise God!
This series will be coming to an end soon. If you have a Little Girl Within story that you would like to share in order to encourage others, I would love to hear from you. Guidelines for submission are at the bottom of the post for the start of the series here.